Cannabis Culture

‘Secret Medicine of Buddhism’, Soma, and the Unhappy State of Entheogenic Anthropology

CANNABIS CULTURE – In Secret Medicine of Buddhism, Mike Crowley claims the covert survival of the Vedic Soma custom in Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism, in addition to different use of psychedelic mushrooms. However is Crowley’s analysis credible? 

Furthermore, there’s a complete subject rising within the space of Entheogenic Historical past, however can a lot of or not it’s taken severely? Or does it in some methods replicate what occurred with educational research of parapsychology many years in the past? That is Half 5 In a collection on the id of the Vedic soma and Avestan haoma, entheogenic potions that impressed historical religions.

Different articles on this collection so far embrace:

1) The Soma-Haoma Query

2) The Hashish Soma/Haoma Concept: A Synopsis Primarily based on the Newest Textual and Archeological Proof

three) The Mushroom Soma Concept: A Crucial Evaluation

four) A Rebuttal to Criticisms of The Hashish Soma Concept in Secret Medicine of Buddhism by Mike Crowley

Partially four of this collection I responded to a wide range of criticisms about The Hashish Soma Concept from Mike Crowley’s Secret Medicine of Buddhism, and addressed each level he made in that regard. As nicely I gave examples of a few of the questionable makes an attempt he made to discredit my work. Now it’s my flip to assessment the work of Mr. Crowley.

This text will study a few of the relatively unsupported claims Crowley makes about the usage of psychedelic mushrooms, in Tibetan Buddhism and his questionable ethics as a author and researcher. Sadly, as I wrote this text, I needed to acknowledge this type of crank scholarship, goes far past Mike Crowley, and it is a matter that myself and different authors, have needed to deal with. I can even check out that and a few of the entrenched beliefs in that subject which have little to do with precise historical past or science that must be the main target.

I’ve been conscious of those points for someday, however attributable to decorum, and friendship with a few of these concerned, I’ve been restricted in my criticism. Nevertheless, the difficulty has actually put me off talking at psychedelic conferences and issues, as so most of the audio system fall into this class in my thoughts, and I’m not positive it’s progressive to what I’m doing to get pigeon holed with that.

On this regard, I need to emphasize, there isn’t any disrespect for the sacred mushroom, and the very actual traditions which have existed round their use. There’s a lot of that historical past that has been documented by extra reputable researchers. The usage of sacred mushrooms in each North and South America is nicely established, the use by Siberian Shamans of the fly-agaric goes with out query, and there’s intriguing cave work and petroglyphs that I do suppose point out their prehistoric use.

Nevertheless, as proven in Half three of this collection,  The Mushroom Soma Concept: A Crucial Evaluation the fabric that props up the mushrooms identification with soma, is well dismissible by anybody who has even a fundamental understanding of the Vedas. The identification of the fly-agaric with soma, has to do extra with the omissions from the Vedas, than even the misapplication of the Vedic moon imagery related to the God Soma, as an alternative right here tried to be attributed to the plant soma, which is the idea for this nonsense.

R. Gordan Wasson’s Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality (1968), serves as an unquestioned foundation for Mike Crowley’s personal identification of the mushroom as soma. Crowley even makes use of the translations that have been particularly labored for Wasson’s makes use of in his guide, as an alternative of the various reputable and unbiased translations which have been printed. That is the shaky floor upon which not solely Crowley’s work sits, however that of so many different authors who’ve constructed upon Wasson’s work as Crowley has. Its time for this principle and all that has been constructed upon it to crumble, in order that the true Soma would possibly as soon as once more movement.

Crowley additionally builds upon the work of different spurious authors, reminiscent of Clark Heinrich, writer of Magic Mushrooms in Faith and Alchemy (2002) whose laughable principle that the Hindu god Shiva was a fly-agaric mushroom, impressed Crowley to broaden on it. It’s this type of factor, the place these researchers quote one another as if what was written was established truth, and depart it unquestioned by crucial considering, that has me addressing the broader difficulty in a while on this article. In actual fact, a particular version on entheogens of what’s presupposed to be a number one educational compendium on this topic, the Journal of Psychedelic Research, is chalked filled with this entrenched mushroom mania.

A giant a part of Mike Crowley’s important thesis is that the theorized fly-agaric Vedic soma cult survived secretly in Buddhism. My view is that though medicine got here to play a task in branches of Tantric and Tibetan Buddhism, this was a a lot later improvement.

On this regard, it must be famous that a lot of Indian authors have seen the rise of Buddhism, on the core of the lack of soma’s id in addition to the supply of the prohibition of alcohol and different in intoxicants.  In The RgVedic Soma, the Vedic scholar Dr. N.R. Waradpande, who recognized hashish as the traditional sacred drink,  felt that the lack of the data of Soma’s id got here by the decline of the Vedic ritual, the Yajna, which got here occurred by the affect and improvement of Buddhism. Sacrifices continued within the Vedic mode, however this was far totally different from the Yajna being in frequent follow (Waradpande, 1995). This can be a view that has been shared by different students as nicely. Buddhist prohibitions, and the suppression of the Soma cult was additionally famous by Badrul Hassan, some many years earlier, in his 1922 version of The Drink and Drug Evil in India. This example is addressed extra totally in The Hashish Soma Concept.

The premise of Crowley’s view on the Secret Medicine of Buddhism, relies largely round novel visible interpretations of each fable and iconography, which just about converts virtually something to a mushroom, the ritualized and medicinal consumption of urine is seen again and again as proof of fly-agaric use, and  precise references to the usage of psychoactive substances in these traditions, in recognized kinds such hashish and datura, are curiously pointed to again and again as additionally indicating the imagined possible hood of the usage of mushrooms as nicely.


Mike Crowley lecturing in regards to the Secret Medicine of Buddhism, dressed within the regalia of a Buddhist monk

The Stream of Transmission… 

A mode of this transmission of Wasson’s soma principle, makes its approach into Crowley’s Buddhist principle, by accounts of urine consuming, which as mentioned partly three, was one of many looser and unsupported features of Wasson’s soma principle. The psychoactive chemical compounds of the fly-agaric mushroom Wasson noticed as soma, may be handed on by way of the urine.  Wasson pointed to Rig Veda 9.74.four, a verse that his translator, and one earlier French supply, noticed as indicating the ‘pissing’ of soma. Different translators have seen this as ‘rain’. There aren’t any indications of the consuming of this urine within the Vedas, so Wasson jumps forward many centuries to an account in  the Mahabharata, when the god Indra, disguised as an outcaste, provides the hero Uttanka, amrita (ambrosia), to drink within the type of urine, which was duly rejected.

Now, notice in regard of this time-frame, that Wasson disallowed the 10th Mandala of the Rig veda, and a lot of the Avesta accounts, which each have descriptions of the vegetation soma and haoma, with the declare that by the point these texts have been written down, with the declare that by the point these Vedic texts have been composed the id of soma had been misplaced. Nevertheless these have been written centuries earlier than the Mahabharata, but that is the place Wasson, and thus Crowley after him, each flip for proof of the ritual consuming of psychoactive urine. Crowley takes this even additional away in historical past with one other instance of this he proposes, that seems in one other custom altogether, one which rose out of a rejection of the Vedas! Buddhism.

That is the type of factor I meant by, Wasson’s principle relies extra on omissions than what is definitely written about soma within the Vedas. There aren’t any accounts of formality soma consuming on the Vedas, so to make the declare there was, Wasson jumps centuries forward to an unrelated textual content that has an account of it, lengthy after the time he claims the id of soma was misplaced.

Crowley takes this even additional with the declare that an excellent newer “Tibetan fable might assist clear up the riddle of soma, sacred drug of historical India“, a principle he has been sporting for many years, with reference to a fable during which a bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrapani, drinks urine. The legend is drawn from the Dri Med Zhel Phreng, ‘The Immaculate Crystal Garland’, which is a Tibetan recast of the Hindu fable the Samudra Manthan, ‘The Churning of the Ocean of Milk’. This account is called ‘The legend about Chakdor’

As soon as upon a time the Buddhas all met collectively on the highest of Mount Meru, to deliberate upon the technique of procuring the water of life, Dutsi, which lies hid on the backside of the deep ocean. Of their benevolence, they meant, as quickly as they obtained the water of life, to distribute it amongst the human race as a strong antidote towards the sturdy poison Hala, which the evil demons, at this era, had been utilizing with such mischievous impact towards mankind.

So as to procure the antidote they decided to churn the ocean with the mountain Meru, and so trigger the water of life to rise to the floor of the ocean. This they did, and delivered the water of life to Vajrapani, with orders to safe it safely till a future assembly, after they would impart it to residing beings. However the monster Rahu, a Lhamayin, occurred to listen to of this treasured discovery, and having fastidiously watched Vajrapani’s actions, seized a possibility, within the absence of the latter, to drink the water of life; not happy with this act, he even voided his water intentionally into the vessel. He then hurried away as quick as attainable, and had already proceeded a fantastic distance, when Vajrapani got here house, and having perceived the theft, immediately set out in pursuit of the wrongdoer.

In the midst of his flight Rahu had handed the solar and moon, whom he menaced with vengeance, ought to they enterprise to betray him to Vajrapani. His searches proving fruitless, Vajrapani betook himself to the solar, and requested him about Rahu. However the solar replied evasively, saying that he had definitely seen someone passing a very long time in the past, however had paid no explicit consideration as to who it was. The moon, then again, returned a candid reply, solely requesting that Vajrapani wouldn’t repeat it earlier than Rahu. Upon this info Rahu was shortly afterwards overtaken, when he received such a horrible blow from Vajrapani’s scepter [i.e. vajra] that, apart from receiving many wounds, his physique was cut up in two components, the decrease a part of the physique with the legs being solely blown off.

The Buddhas as soon as extra held a gathering, during which they deliberated upon the most effective technique of disposing of Rahu’s urine. To pour it out would have been most harmful to human beings, because it contained a big amount of the poison Hala hala; they subsequently decided that Vajrapani ought to drink it, in simply punishment for the carelessness by which the water of life was misplaced. Accordingly he was compelled to take action, when his honest, yellow complexion was modified by the consequences of this potion right into a darkish one. Vajrapani conceived, from his transfiguration, a most violent rage towards all evil demons, and particularly towards Rahu, who, however his lethal wounds, was prevented from dying by the water of life. This highly effective water, nevertheless, dropped from his wounds and fell everywhere in the world, quite a few medicinal herbs arising on the spots the place it touched the soil.

A extreme punishment was additionally inflicted upon Rahu by the Buddhas themselves; they made a horrible monster of him, changed his legs by the tail of a dragon, fashioned 9 totally different heads from his damaged one, the principal wounds have been made into an unlimited throat, and the lesser ones into so many eyes. Rahu, who had ever distinguished himself from his fellow-beings by his wickedness – of their earliest youth even the opposite gods needed to undergo from his malignity – grew to become, after this transformation, extra dreadful than he was earlier than.

His rage was turned particularly in the direction of the solar and the moon, who had betrayed him. He’s continuously attempting to devour them, notably the moon, who displayed probably the most hostile disposition in the direction of him. He overshadows them while attempting to devour them, and thus causes eclipses; however owing to Vajrapani’s unceasing vigilance, he can not reach destroying them.

As Crowley explains of this, in his article ‘When the Gods Drank Urine

…we flip to the oddest, and but most important, aspect of the Vajrapani fable: he drinks Rahu’s urine and, consequently turns into terrifying, blue and adorned with snakes. Right here we’ve got our sought-for connection between soma (albeit underneath the synonym bDud.rTsi) and urine-drinking.

….So, given the context during which Vajrapani drinks the urine of 1 has simply drunk a powerfully inebriating potion, we should always strongly suspect that Amanita muscaria is implicated. Within the gentle of Wasson’s competition that soma was A. muscaria, the urine-drinking aspect of “The Legend About Chakdor” assumes appreciable significance.(Crowley, 1996)

Nicely that does really not sound like the consequences of the awe inspiring soma in any respect, as the outline is just not blissful however wrathful. The connection right here is to an earlier fable that has the god Shiva consuming the poison that appeared earlier than the amrita by The Churning of the Ocean of Milk within the  Samudra Manthan. This act of self sacrifice saved humanity, but in addition turned Shiva’s throat blue, which has Crowley additionally declare Shiva represents psilocybin mushrooms, within the Hindu counterpart of this fable, as we will see!

The importance of pissing within the ritual cup, relatively than transmitting Wasson’s “second type” of soma, within the Tibetan story, possible goes again to the thought, that any human bodily fluid contaminated the ritual cup. The Sacred Legal guidelines of the Aryas, (450 BC) data that “the sacrificial cup (kamasa) is said to be pure on account of its contact with the Soma juice.”  This purity was ruined by contact with urine, “in any respect soma-sacrifices (the cups have to be) cleaned with water solely… If these identical (cups are defiled) by urine, ordure, blood, semen and the like (they have to be) thrown away.” A state of affairs that will be onerous to reconcile with Wasson’s idea of divine Soma enriched piss.

Crowley does make an essential level about drug infused urine in his 1996 article that I used to be not capable of finding in his 2019 guide.

Even supposing urine-drinking is an integral a part of Siberian Amanita muscaria consumption we should always not take this follow, in itself, to point the usage of A. muscaria with out additional substantiating components. In any case, many individuals in fashionable India drink their very own urine purely for well being causes. Nevertheless, it must be clearly understood that, of all recognized medicine in use worldwide, solely A. muscaria has the follow of urine-drinking related to it as a cultural norm. This follow has its foundation in the truth that, because of the extremely inefficient conversion of ibotenic acid into muscimole inside the physique, the urine of 1 who has ingested A. muscaria is nearly as potent a drug because the mushroom itself. Furthermore, ibotenic acid is discovered solely within the A. muscaria mushroom and in a really comparable species referred to as A. pantherina. Amongst psychoactive mushrooms, this property is exclusive to A. muscaria. Thus, if one have been to drink the urine of somebody who has simply ingested, say, a mushroom which comprises psilocybin, its drug impact wouldn’t be handed on to the urine-drinker.

It must be borne in thoughts that, whereas psychoactive vegetation which share this property of passing useable quantities of its drug into the person’s urine are comparatively uncommon, they do exist. Amanita muscaria is just not distinctive on this regard. There are, for example, a number of species of cactus which comprise mescaline. Nevertheless, even if about 80% of ingested mescaline is excreted with the urine, there have been no stories of urine-drinking related to the peyote (Anhalonium lewinii) cults of North America nor with the San Pedro (Trichocereus pachanoi) cult of Peru. That is considerably stunning as urine, even another person’s, might be much more palatable than the intensely bitter peyote cactus. There are, in fact, no Outdated World vegetation which comprise mescaline. (Crowley, 1996).

Allow us to contemplate this additional, there are different medicine which may be handed by urine, reminiscent of peyote, which when you have ingested you would possibly even contemplate taking in that approach, to keep away from the style and bodily discomfort! However there isn’t any custom of their use in that approach. Now when these guys do search for examples of fly-agaric to make their case, they conviently soar hundreds of years forward to accounts of Siberian Shaman, which began appearing on the historic document round 1700 AD.  These Siberian shamans haven’t any notable textual or legendary connection to the Vedic materials to be proven of their custom, apart from hundreds of years earlier than the Aryans, a complicated historical tradition, have been stated to believed to have migrated from this area. After which to account for this in relation to soma, unable to search out something in all of the Vedic references to soma, that might be twisted into consuming psychoactive soma infused urine, Wasson, and Crowley with him, jumps centuries after the Vedas and forward to the account of Uttanka and Indra within the Mahabharata. In Secret Medicine of Buddhism Crowley takes us even additional alongside in historical past, with a a lot, a lot later adaption of the Sumudra Manthan in Tibet, and a narrative of a defiled cup!

The sooner Hindu model of the parable, Sumudra Manthan, ‘The Churning of the Ocean of Milk’ performed an enormous roll in exalting Shiva to the highest of the Hindu pantheon. Crowley proposes that in Shiva’s Vedic type, Rudra, which some have translated as ‘pink’  this god represents the Amanita muscaria after which later by the Sumudra Manthan, and the God’s consuming of a poison that turned his throat blue, the psilocybin mushroom.

The Churning of the Ocean of Misinformation

Crowley makes some notably spurious claims in reference to The Samudra Manthana, ‘The Churning of the Ocean of Milk’ a fable in regards to the nectar of immortality an elixir recognized right here as amrita. Now the identify amrita has been recognized as indicating soma by a wide range of researchers, in some makes use of of the phrase, reminiscent of on this case, nevertheless, as we will focus on later, there are different meanings that got here to be utilized to this time period as nicely.

The Samudra Manthana remains to be celebrated within the largest continuous human gathering on the planet, the Kumbh Mela, the place numerous Sadhus may be noticed smoking Ganja in honour of Lord Shiva, the hero of the story. The Kumbh Mela takes place at one among a number of spots each few years, and these websites are the place drops of the heavenly amrita are stated to have fallen to the earth because it was being rescued from the clutches of the demons, and as we will see, earlier historians of Indian tradition, have famous that hashish was stated to have first sprouted from the drops of the elixir amrita. Due to the victory in saving the amrita from the demons, hashish was dubbed vijaya, ‘Victory’, and on this sense, seen because the earthly counterpart of the elixir of the Gods amrita.

Crowley writes in regards to the Victory of the Aryan Gods, in profitable the elixir, amrita, from the demons within the fable:

…This legend is also learn as a mythologized account of the battle between the invading Aryans and the indigenous folks of India. If so, then the elixir which the Aryan “gods” gained from the indigenous asuras might have been Psiloscybe cubensi, a available alternative for his or her vanishingly scarce sacrament, Amanita muscaria.  To this present day, vijaya is the identify of a psychoactive sacrament in Hindu tantra however, in fashionable variations of the rites, it’s taken to imply hashish. (Crowley, 2019)

I swear, its like he simply makes this up this shit as he goes alongside! Crowley not solely tries to tie the time period vijaya with mushrooms in Tantra and the Samudra Manthana however claims due to the associations above, that since it’s used within the different names, reminiscent of Usnisavijaya, who’s a feminine Buddha of longevity, that is indicative of the usage of psychedelic mushrooms! Lest we neglect, the identify usually plainly means Victory.

A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, (1872) by Monier Williams, whom Crowley turned to in an try to dismiss my very own work, notes of the various functions of the time period  “Vijaya – Hashish sativa, or the tops of the plant used as a narcotic” , no point out of mushrooms among the many entries on the time period, nevertheless, though yellow myrobolan is listed because the phrase can imply each. Context is related in deciphering particular references, as we’ve got famous. It must also be identified the Soma and hashish share this time period as epithets as nicely. “Bhanga is… referred to as… vijaya (the victorious)” similar to vrtraha, ‘victorious’ an epithet of Soma in (RV.1.91.23).

Writing on the finish of the 19th century, G. A. Grierson famous of vijaya with reference to hashish, in his nicely researched essay ‘On References to the Hemp Plant Occurring in Sanskrit and Hindi Literature’ (1893), displaying the time period in affiliation with hashish going again 1,400 years.   “Within the graduation of the sixth century we discover the primary point out of vijaya which I’ve famous. It’s a sacred grass, and possibly means right here the hemp plant…”

….Cir. 1050 A.D. within the eleventh century A.D. In his Cabdacandrika, a medical vocabulary, he provides the next Sanskrit names for bhang:

(1) Vijaya (victorious), (2) Trailokyavijaya (victorious within the three worlds), (three) bhanga, (four) Indracana (Indra’s meals), (5) Jaya (victorious).

These names appear to indicate that its use as an intoxicant was then recognized. (Grierson, 1893).

Additionally, Grierson doesn’t notice any of the kind confusion round these phrases that Crowley suggests. In actual fact, most students agree, and as I’ve famous as nicely, it’s the fable, the place Shiva’s sturdy affiliation with bhang, possible first originated.

Now, it’s clear that Crowley stands alone in his interpretation of psilocybin mushrooms as being recognized within the, Samudra Manthana, apart from maybe the cabal of spurious fungi mates he has round him, whom I’ll return to. As nicely, there isn’t any type of break within the traditions round this fable, and the identification of vijaya, as with the case of soma. Nobody has prompt that the id of vijaya was misplaced, its purely the unsupported invention of Mike Crowley, as are so most of the claims in Secret Medicine of Buddhism.

Crowley by no means gives any of the  type of corroborative sources he was making an attempt to dismiss my very own work with in half four of this collection, as no Indian scholar or Vedic scholar would agree together with his crackpot suggestion right here. Nowhere does he determine when this switcheroo from mushrooms to hashish with the time period vijaya occurred, and that is the type of unfounded interpretation that basically plagues The Secret Medicine of Buddhism. Furthermore, the identification of hashish with vijaya was not one thing that occurred “in fashionable variations of the rites” as Crowley pretends with no proof, however has been explicitly acknowledged in Indian literature for nicely over a millennia, as famous by numbers of students.

The Fable

The Gods and demons be part of collectively to churn the ocean of milk

Within the Samudra Manthana, the Gods and demons be part of collectively to churn the ocean of milk after Vishnu ordered them to organize the amrita, a sacred substance akin to soma that bestows immortality and vigour, telling them “Do now as I command: forged into the Milky Sea potent herbs, then take Mount Mandara for churning-stick, the serpent Vasuki for rope, and churn the Ocean for the dew of life [amrita]” (Coomaraswamy & Nivedita, 1914). Thus wrapping the large serpent across the mountain, collectively they may use it as an enormous pestle so as the churn the “potent herbs” they forged into the Ocean of milk and make amrita! Right here we see a cosmic account that clearly parallels the usage of the mortar and pestle to grind milk and hashish in an effort to make the earthly bhang, in addition to the ritual preparation of grinding and smashing the stalks of soma and mixing them with barley, honey and many others., to make soma as described within the Rig Veda 9:69; 10:94.

Shiva prepares the hashish drink bhang with a mortar and pestle

Because the Gods and demons joined collectively in churning the Ocean of Milk, varied issues started to rise out of consequently, first the wish-giving cow, Surabhi, rose out, delighting gods and demons alike, then Varuni, with rolling eyes, the divinity of wine, adopted by the Parijata, the aromatic tree of Paradise, then the swish troops of apsaras. These have been adopted by the moon, which was grasped by Shiva and positioned upon his forehead, after which a draught of lethal poison, additionally taken by Shiva who drank of it, lest it ought to destroy the world, a selfless act that triggered the God to undergo intense ache, however he was unable to die, and this might not be seen by his spouse Parvati. She instantly locations a hand on his throat, stopping the poison to movement any additional, and by her Maya stopped it eternally. Because of this, his throat turned blue and he was henceforth referred to as Neelakantha (the blue-throated one; “neela” = “blue”, “kantha” = “throat” in Sanskrit).

It’s at this level that that Crowley foundation his proof for the God Shiva representing the psilocybin mushroom, due to the blueish color related to each. Observe the poison Shiva drinks is the least amrita factor that comes out of the entire herb infused Ocean of Milk, and a number of gadgets have been produced! However because it the closest Crolwey may come to tying in a mushroom, was the blue color of each, he goes for it!

After Shiva drank the poison, then appeared Dhanwantari holding in his hand the vessel of amrita, the dew of life, lighting up the eyes of each the Gods and demons with need.

The story has it that after the amrita appeared within the Kumbha (urn) the demons tried to realize management of it and consequently a 12 day battle, equal to 12 earthly years , happened between the Gods and the demons within the heavens. In the course of the battle, the celestial chook, the Garuda, (recognized for his affiliation with Soma) flew away with the Kumbha of amrita to guard it from the arms of the demons.

Contemporary image of Shiva “Concocting bhang” by churning hemp with a pestle into a bowl of milk. (2)

Modern picture of Shiva “Concocting bhang” by churning hemp with a pestle right into a bowl of milk.

When Hinduism emerged to exchange Buddhism because the nationwide faith in medieval India, the parable reemerged tying in fable with the fact of the folks and their geography. To insure that the valuable amrita didn’t fall into the arms of the demons, the Kumbha (vessel) of nectar was briefly hidden at 4 locations on the earth – Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. At every of those locations, a drop of the nectar was stated to have spilled from the pot and from these drops of this treasured water of immortality it’s believed that these locations acquired mystical energy. Kumbha Mela is well known on the 4 locations each twelve years because of this. Historical custom has it additionally that one of many miracles that resulted from the spilling of the amrita was the creation of Hemp.

“[Cannabis]… was initially produced, like nectar from the ocean by the churning with Mount Mandara, and inasmuch because it provides victory within the three worlds, it, the delight of the king of the gods, is known as Vijaya, the victorious. This desire-fulfilling drug was obtained by males on the earth, by need for the welfare of all folks.” (Grierson, 1893)

With the help of Vishnu, the Gods lastly overcame the demons and ultimately gained management of the pot of amrita. Invigorated by the sacred elixir, the Gods have been in a position to drive the demons all the way down to hell and order and prosperity was restored to the three worlds. In honour of their success towards the demons the Gods gave hashish the identify Vijaya (“Victory”) to commemorate the occasion.

The God most intently related to the amassing of the amrita, was Shiva, and his devotees nonetheless partake of hashish in commemoration of this occasion to this present day. “The votaries of Eudra-Siva are hooked on Hashish sativa” (Chakbraberty, 1944). “In line with the previous Hindu poems, God Shiva introduced down the hemp plant from the Himalayas and gave it to mankind” (Chopra, 1939). This shut affiliation clearly goes again again to the parable of The Churning of the Ocean of Milk. The identify of Shiva, Trailokyavijaya (victorious within the three worlds) notably ties it with the heavenly amrita as nicely. As J. M. Campbell famous over a century in the past. “Shiva on hearth with the poison churned from the ocean was cooled by bhang” (Campbell, 1894).

In line with one account, when nectar was produced from the churning of the ocean, one thing was needed to purify the nectar. The deity equipped the need of a nectar-cleanser by creating bhang. This bhang Mahadev [Shiva] created from his personal physique, and so it’s referred to as angaj or body-born. In line with one other account some nectar dropped to the bottom and from the bottom the bhang plant sprang. It was as a result of they used this baby of nectar or of Mahadev in settlement of spiritual kinds that the seers or Rishis grew to become Siddha or one with the deity. He who regardless of the instance of the Rishis, makes use of no bhang shall lose his happiness on this life and within the life to return. Ultimately he shall be forged into hell. The mere sight of bhang, cleanses from as a lot sin as a thousand horse-sacrifices or a thousand pilgrimages. He who scandalizes the person of bhang shall undergo the torments of hell as long as the solar endures. He who drinks  bhang foolishly or for pleasure with out non secular rites is as responsible because the sinner… of sins. He who drinks properly and based on rule, be he ever so low, although his physique is smeared with human ordure and urine, is Shiva. No god or man is pretty much as good because the non secular drinker of bhang. The scholars of the scriptures at Beanres are given bhang earlier than they sit to check. At Benares, Ujjain, the opposite holy locations, the yogis, bairagis, and sanyasis take deep draughts of bhang that they might middle there ideas on the Everlasting.

The Hindu poet of Shiva, the Nice Spirit that residing in bhang passes into the drinker, sings of bhang because the clearer of ignorance, the giver of information. No gem or jewel can contact in worth bhang taken actually and reverently. He who drinks bhang drinks Shiva. The soul in whom the spirit of bhang finds a house glides into the ocean of Being free of the weary spherical of matter-blinded self. (Campbell, 1894)

There’s nothing to substantiate the concept that Shiva’s blue throat from taking poison within the Churning of the Ocean of milk, ever represented the usage of psilocybin containing mushrooms, and Crowley’s complete declare that the time period vijaya in Tantra solely later got here to imply hashish is equally preposterous. No historic proof for this declare in any respect, and its primarily based purely on the blueness of the mushroom and Shiva’s throat!

In actual fact when developing with proof for mushrooms in Tantra, he’s likewise depending on proof of hashish for the declare. Crowley refers to the usage of a “secret” drug within the textual content Initiation Ritual of the Fierce Guru, , by a reference to a “nectar” Crowley equates with the amrita, a time period which itself is related to soma. Now there are a number of functions of the time period amrita in use in each India and Tibet, generally it may be recognized with soma, generally with intoxicating elixirs, generally bodily fluids and generally energies within the physique regarding the chakras and kundalini.  Studying the textual content myself I get the sense of the type of references to a ‘nectar’ produced within the physique referred to in literature concerning kundalini vitality.  Nevertheless even when we go along with Crowley’s interpretation of a drug,  in an effort to point out how such a substance may be utilized in a Tantric ritual, with no Indian textual proof for a mushroom right here, he refers back to the nicely established use of bhang within the Tantric ritual of maithuna, noting “however the identical rules might nicely apply right here” (Crowley, 2019). That’s his foundation for a mushroom suggestion, that hashish was used, and thus mushrooms may have been used…..   This isn’t the one place, that Crowley is basically reliant on hashish to make his case for the mushroom.

Shiva is a Mushroom? 

With regard to Shiva, the Lord of Bhang, Crowley not solely claims the blue throat Shiva acquired from consuming the poison derived from The Churning of the Ocean of Milk, as figuring out the blue of a psilocybin mushroom, but in addition that Lord Shiva’s one legged incarnation Ekapada and his usually depicted one legged dance pose as likewise indicating a mushroom stem! Displaying his deep humbleness, Crowley doesn’t take full credit score right here, and he provides some credit score to an equally unscrupulous colleague. “This guide was not the primary to posit the entheogenic origin of deities… Clark Heinrich, to call however one researcher, identified… how Hindu fable describe Rudra/Śiva in phrases equally relevant to the Amanita muscaria mushroom. I’ve merely continued this line of reasoning…” (Crowley, 2019). No critical scholar of the Hindu faith or the Vedas, would take both of those people critical, and they’re left with propping up every others shabby interpretations of myths and mythological imagery, unable to amass any corroborative materials from consultants in these fields. It’s pure hokum, and the next is a basic instance of the type of factor that runs by Crowley’s guide:

I put it to you expensive reader, that the on the most basic degree, the actual purpose Śiva has one leg and blue throat lies not in any mythological situation however in mycology and a biochemical response. Merely put, the Hindu god Siva is an apotheosis of blue staining (i.e., psilocin-rich) psychedelic mushroom, most likely Ps cubensis. I admit that on the face of it, this will likely appear an outrageous assertion, however contemplate Śiva’s recognized traits (Crowley, 2019):

Now, “expensive reader” earlier than giving Crowley’s record of ‘traits’, notice what number of instances he depends on references to hashish, even repeating them, in addition to datura and soma, to make his case.

-[1] By custom, Śiva is related to medicine in varied methods: he’s referred to as “a medication for kine and horses, a medication for males, a [source of]ease for rams and ewes.”

-[2] As Rudra he’s “the primary doctor”

-[3] Varied psychoactive medicine, together with Datura (Datura metel; Skt., dhattura) ganja (“marijuana,” Hashish indica) and bhang.’ are thought of sacred to Śiva

-[4] Śiva is alleged to have consumed large qualities of hashish, datura and Nux vomica (the foremost supply of strychnine, a strong stimulant) earlier than participating in battle.

-[5] He’s the “Lord of Herbs” (Skt. ausadhisvara).

-[6] Choices of datura flowers and bhang are made to Śiva.

-[7] Śiva acquired a blue throat swallowing the toxic byproduct of soma, the drug of the gods.

-[8] Śiva is often depicted poised on one leg within the tāṇḍavam dance and even has a one legged type…

-[9] Śiva’s vahama (‘automobile’) and companion is a bull. Named Nandi (“joyous”), this bull is thought for his “large hump” and “single shining horn”.

-[10] Śiva carries “the cup of soma” (i.e. the crescent moon) on the crown of his head.

-[11] Soma was as soon as a standard various identify for Śiva and the literature and oral teachings of the Śaiva sect was generally known as, somasiddhanta, lierally “the science of soma”.

-[12] The 9 important lineages of Śaiva tantra every revere a special type of  Śiva. One in every of these kinds is called Amriteśvara (Lord of Amrita).

-[13] Some Śiva temples will not be solely mushroom-shaped however are even referred to as “mushroom-like” (Skt. chattraka).

Observe that numbers three, four and 6, mainly repeat the identical level in regards to the conventional use of hashish, datura and Nux vomica. 1, 2 and 5 may simply be defined by Shiva’s affiliation with hashish, datura and different medicinal vegetation, no indication of psychoactive mushrooms in any of that although. Crowley relates that he himself has witnessed “rams and ewes” in search of out and consuming psychedelic mushrooms on a hillside in Wales. Which, having been by a few of his different claims, is a relatively unsatisfying quotation, and no point out of what the medical worth may be to grazing rams and ewes, apart from breaking apart the monotony of a life primarily based round grazing… Nevertheless hashish has an extended custom as a veterinarian medication and the Persian counterpart of the Vedic custom, the Avestan, data in a creation fable, after the primary created Ox is cursed with demise and illness by Ahriman, the Zoroastrian Satan, Ahura-Mazda (God) eases its ache with bhang. In Bundahisin four:20 we learn Ahura-Mazda “gave the therapeutic Hashish, which is what one calls ‘banj’, to the’ Gav’ [Ox] to eat, and rubbed it earlier than her eyes, in order that her discomfort, owing to smiting, [sin]and damage, would possibly lower.”

With regard to Shiva, his relationship with hashish may be very previous and really nicely established.  The Tirumantiram also referred to as Thirumantiram by Thirumular is the tenth of the twelve volumes of the Tirumurai, the important thing texts of Shaiva Siddhanta. It has been dated by some students as early as 200 BCE, however others see it as a later work of about 700 AD. Tirumantiram‘s literal that means is “Sacred mantra” or “Holy incantation”. The Tirumantiram is the earliest recognized exposition of the Shaiva Agamas in Tamil. It consists of over three thousand verses coping with varied features of spirituality, ethics and reward of Shiva. The Alchemical Physique: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India (2012) notes that “Tirumular sings the praises of marijuana in his Tirumantiram… the place hashish is known as ‘Gorakh’s root’”. Fashionable custom to this present day is that Shiva spends his winters within the Tibetan Kailas Mountains smoking chillums of hashish, and sadhus make pilgrimages do that in his honour.

7, 10, 11, 12, all relate to soma and amrita, however once more, not proof of a mushroom, I might argue from the replete references to hashish, these all make my very own case for The Hashish Soma Concept are specified by Crowley’s personal comparisons, a lot stronger than his for mushrooms, as when he refers to hashish, its primarily based on truth, not hypothesis. Thus, having no direct textual references to the usage of psychoactive mushrooms within the literature round Shiva, Crowley is left with inventing his personal.

I’ve already mentioned Crowley’s preposterous suggestion in quantity 9 that Shiva’s well-known dance pose the place he balances on one foot. and the one legged incarnation of Shiva, Ekapada, are proof of a mushroom stem. Crowley fails to herald Shiva’s different appendages into this analogy, one may simply say the a number of arms have been branches, by the identical weak logic. (As nicely the Dancing Shiva, is just not at all times depicted on one foot so Crowley qualifies with “often”). Crowley additionally means that any type of “mythological situation”  that explains the dance and pose, be dismissed in an effort to understand this hidden symbolism.

Shiva dancing with each ft down

Shiva’s type as Ekapada is commonly depicted  as ithyphallic (with an erect phallus), and I’m venturing this will likely have extra to do together with his “one leg” as an analogous analogy may be seen in Crowley’s use of Shiva’s sacred companion Nandi, as nicely symbolizing a mushroom! (The whole lot is mushrooms to this man, I swear!).

Ekapada in full phallic glory

Crowley refers to Nandi’s description of getting “large hump” and “single shining horn”, and this in fact is logical proof to him of mushroom symbolism. Nandi is a well-liked determine in fashionable Indian iconography, and has been for hundreds of years and you’d suppose that their devoted artists would need to seize such an essential a part of Nandi’s symbolism when depicting him, as it’s the varied features of every deities iconography within the expansive Indian pantheon of deities, which identifies every deity and units them aside. However curiously a google picture search of “Nandi single horn” solely turns up the 2 horned number of Shva’s sacred bull! I suppose that’s the reason Crowley didn’t embrace a picture to help this, in his picture laden guide, that’s so usually reliant on novel interpretations of creative depictions, taken  to an excessive and twisted to determine a mushroom. Crowley’s reference to Nandi, happens within the Linga Purana 1,2 1-25.

“We worship him who unites the sturdy and the weak, who causes hassle and is rarely troubled, Nandi, the bull, together with his large hump and his single shining horn”.

Now the Linga Purana is a textual content dedicated to the lingam, one among Shiva’s important symbols, and seen as an emblem of the divine phallus. This connection helps us to grasp higher the symbolism of the “single shining horn”, as horns themselves have been usually seen as symbols of virility within the historical world, and Nandi is at all times depicted with two horns, maybe it was one more image of masculine virility, that’s recognized on this single shining horn? The truth that simply as Shiva was an emblem of the lingam, Nandi was recognized with the divine testicles, ought to assist in deciphering the symbolism at play right here. Nandi is commonly depicted with massive balls, and worshippers coming into the Shiva temple usually seize the divine bull by the balls, to get charged together with his virility, and this helps with  understanding this “single horn” symbolism as nicely.

A 350 yr previous Nandi together with his Huge balls


Third-1st century BCE shiva lingam (Bhang is commonly poured over the lingam of Shiva as an providing)

Nandi’s “large hump” is usually recommended by Crowley, as figuring out a mushroom high, for what else may or not it’s however a mushroom cap! That is the type of symbolism that Crowley depends on for his last little bit of proof connecting Shiva with the mushroom. The mushroom like form of Shiva’s temples! Nicely that and the Sanskrit time period chattraka which may be utilized to a wide range of Dome formed objects, together with mushrooms, Shiva’s temple, and umbrellas or as they’re usually referred to within the literature of the East, parasols. Parasols maintain vital iconographic symbolism within the East and we are going to return to debate extra full later on this article as this performs a pivotal function of Crowley’s declare for secret mushroom use in Buddhism.

Pink Rudra

Within the case of Shiva because the fly-agaric, based on Crowley, this goes again to the view that he’s recognized with the Vedic God Rudra, and this identify means “pink”.  Nevertheless that this time period identifies a color, is itself unsure. Stella Kramrisch notes a special etymology linked with the adjectival type raudra, which suggests “wild”, i.e. of impolite (untamed) nature, and interprets the identify Rudra as “the wild one” or “the fierce god”. Others see it as derived from the Tamil Phrase Uru means Roar, or from the basis rud- (associated to English “impolite”) which suggests “to cry, howl. Nevertheless an alternate etymology derives Rudra because the “pink one”, the “good one” from a misplaced root rud-, “pink”or “ruddy”. Shiva is linked to the Solar (śivan, “the Pink one”, in Tamil) and Rudra can also be referred to as Babhru (brown, or pink) within the Rig Veda.

If we’re to interpret Rudra as ‘pink’ and figuring out his color, it is very important keep in mind, that each Shiva and Kali, have been deities that have been worshipped in India lengthy earlier than the fairer skinned Aryan worshippers of the Vedas arrived, with their equally honest skinned gods. They have been solely later accepted into the broader Vedic Pantheon, and this was all a part of the transition into later Hinduism out of the Vedic faith.

Mike Crowley nevertheless holds a vastly totally different view:

…It’s straightforward to see how Rudra, “the reddish one” with a thousand eyes might be equated with the A. muscaria mushroom. Not only a hunter, he additionally had his therapeutic facet. He carried a flask of his particular medication jalasah. The importance of this later phrase remained a thriller till the 1890s when linguistic evaluation revealed it really means “urine.”  This revelation occasioned no different dialogue in its day however now, with our fashionable data of A. muscaria metabolism and its custom of urine-recycling, it ought to elevate our suspicions. We’ve to ask ourselves if this “common panacea” may be the urine of some who has eaten A. muscaria. (Crowley, 2019)

Now the time period a “thousand eyes” has been extra typically seen as encompassing the God’s all seeing data. The broader description is “Rudra with 100 heads, 100 eyes, and 100 quivers“, however I suppose this lacked the visible that Crowley was taking pictures for right here, in an try to attach the alleged pink color of Rudra with a fly agaric cap, and the “thousand eyes” with its white speckles.

Now, as Crowley claims on the time of Vedic Rudra, the Fly Agaric is recognized by the Gods pink color, and thousand eyes, after which later that is usurped because the Aryan invaders switched to the native P. cubensis, as indicated by Shiva’s blue throat from consuming poison within the Samudra Manthana, its onerous to make of what he would say when these themes get combined up, reminiscent of in examples like  “He who creepeth away, Blue-necked and ruddy” or “Homage to the blue-necked,Thousand-eyed one”  from the Taittiriya Samhita (c. 1500 B.C.).

In relation to jalash that means urine, Crowley fails to notice that a wide range of conflicting translations of this time period have been proposed. In Aushadh Rahasya: The Secret of Ayurvedic Herbs and Issues of the Thoughts, Rodney Lingham relates: “The Rig Veda textual content II.33.7 additionally states that God as Physician, or Rudra’s (the god Shiva) hand holds jalasha (leeches) and bheshaja (medicines), which once more is the picture of Dhanwantri, who holds the kumbha of amrita (pot of elixir), representing herbs (though generally a herb), and a leech…”. David, Frawley, in Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets and techniques of Historical Civilization shares this interpretation:” I believe jalasha means leech. The leech is essential for curing infections and fevers that go along with them (the illnesses of Rudra)” (Frawley, 2018) And that is additionally famous in  Arogya Ayurvedic Well being.

A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Being a Sensible Handbook with Transliteration, Accentuation, and Etymological Evaluation All through(1893) sees “soothing, therapeutic… having soothing treatments”. Early Medieval Artwork Of Haryana (2003) -“The Atharvaveda mentions Rudra as Jalasha-bheshaja (Has therapeutic treatments)”. Different sources see “cooling”. Spiritual Historical past of Historical India, Upto C. 1200 A.D.(1984) “He’s Jalasha (cooling) and Jaldshabheshaja (possessing cooling medicines)”. The ‘cooling’ facet of  bhang is intently associated to Shiva on this regard “If the fever-stricken performs the Vijaya abhishek, or bhang-pouring on the Ling of Shankar, the god is happy, his breath cools, and the portion of his breath within the physique of the fever-stricken ceases to inflame” (Campbell, 1894)

I cannot assist however see that Crowley is intellectually dishonest right here by not mentioning these different  translations of the time period jalasha. 

Nevertheless, the time period is translated as urine by some sources nonetheless. Vedic Mythology (1997) “Jalasa Jalasa or urine of a cow is a treatment towards wounds brought on by arrow having one shaft and hundred suggestions. That is the treatment of Rudra”. A Historical past of Drugs: Primitive and historical medication (1996 ) lists “Urine (gâlâsha [or jalasa]) as a remedy for scrofulous sores… This, verily, is a treatment, that is the treatment of Rudra”. As nicely, the Encyclopedia of Indo-Aryan analysis(1899), additionally notes with reference to scrofulous sores – “the well-known treatment of Rudra, the jalasa (urine), is indicated”.

The Idea of Rudra-Śiva Via the Ages (1986) data Rudra’s “jalasa, his distinctive treatment, is proven by the Atharvan ritual to be cow’s urine, the medicinal use of which cows again to Indo-Iranian instances as gaomaeza is prescribed within the Avesta“.

Crowley cited M. Bloomfield’s ‘Contributions to the interpretation of the Veda‘, (1891) As Bloomfield famous, Indian texts document “water over which the identify of Rudra has been pronounced turns into an efficient medication.”  Bloomfield takes notice of “the fluid character of the medication” and cites “sprinkle jalasa towards (the sore), sprinkle jalasa upon (the sore); jalasa is a potent * medication, with it be form to us, that we might reside.’

At Kauc. 31.11 we study that urine was sprinkled upon… ‘the sore,’ and this appears to be the appropriate translation of jalasa. That some concrete substance is meant seems doubtless within the first stanza of the hymn (vi. 57. 1)… this certainly is a treatment, that is the treatment of Rudra.’ (Bloomfield, 1891).

Like Bloomfield Stella Kramrisch, doesn’t make a connection to psychoactive mushrooms or soma on this regard, however see purely medicinal qualitiesof urine  recognized. That is fascinating as Kramrisch really seems as a coauthor with R. Gordon Wasson, in Persephone’s Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Faith (1986) the place she recognized a mushroom as a soma substitute within the chapter “The Mahavira and the Plant Putika”, so if there was a connection to be made to mushrooms right here, you’d suppose she would have made it.

As  Professor B.G. L. Swamy famous in his essay ‘The Rg Vedic Soma Plant‘:

The key follow of consuming one’s personal urine in sure types of yoga cult has been recognized in India for an extended interval. On this context additionally the ingested fluid is known as amrta within the perception it rendered the physique proof against bodily deterioration. Wasson cites an anecdote from the Mahabharata …the place Krsna asks Uttanka to drink the urine of Indra. Of Course Uttanka first refuses. Whether or not this refusal is due to the undrinkable nature of the liquid or as a result of it was provided by a candala is tough to say. In any case it’s onerous to see how this story may be fitted into the ritual of Vedic sacrifice. The ethical of the story may as nicely be that Uttanka… being a follower of the Vedic custom refused to simply accept a Yogic potent (urine as a drink) which was against his faith and secondly to obtain it from a person of low-birth. The story itself is incoherent and appears to be an interpolation from a later interval. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Vedic and yogic custom have had unbiased beginnings and improvement and that the cross-connections between the 2 appeared a lot later in historical past. (Swamy, 1976).

Now, right here, with Shiva’s medicinally imbued urine, we run into a few of the identical points with what have been mentioned in Half three of this collection ‘The Mushroom Soma Concept: A Crucial Evaluation‘ with reference to Rig Veda 9.74.four, and translation that conflicted between “rained down” and “Pissed down” ensuing from the consuming of the heavenly Soma by the Gods. As prompt in Half three, it may nicely imply each, the Gods drank the heavenly soma after which rained it all the way down to earth after they have been completed with it, imbuing the vegetation with soma within the course of.  Equally, as famous in Drugs within the Veda: Spiritual Therapeutic within the Veda (1996) “The water, referred to as Rudra’s urine, is alleged to have come from the mountain streams and from the ocean (samudrd)”. Vegetation have been thought to obtain their medicinal properties from these waters of Rudra. Thus the Atharvaveda samhitha 6.44.three data:  “You’re the stream that the thunder cloud (Rudra) pours, the shut relations of ambrosia” or as in Griffith’s transaltion (1895)  “Thou artwork the stream that Rudra pours, the closest kin of Amrita”. Thus jalasa means that Rudra*s medication consists of water. It is usually defined that as all greens rely upon water for his or her progress it’s from this identical water they obtain their therapeutic properties.

Nevertheless, it’s clear, that when the jalasa is known as Rudra’s urine, it doesn’t take its energy from one thing the god ingested, however the energy has to do with it being born from the Rudra’s physique, it’s the God’s water, it’s the supply of rivers and seas. As nicely, clearly, all these references to jalasa are made with reference to medical use, and no indication of any type of psychoactive use is identifiable within the references. Wether, jalasa is translated as “urine”, “cooling”, “soothing” or “leeches”, the interpretation is at all times regarding the bodily therapeutic features of those translations, by no means is any intoxicating facet indicated, or entheogenic revelations outcome. It was for sores and fevers.

On this regard, it must be famous that Bloomfield, who Crowley cited in relation to jalasa that means urine,  additionally wrote an fascinating essay on Soma, explaining how soma got here all the way down to earth from the heavens by way of Indra’s lightning making the clouds rain. Bloomfield makes no point out of the view this rain was the Gods’ soma infused piss, as Wasson prompt of Rig Veda 9.74.four  and contemplating what he wrote above, it could be stunning that he would have missed the reference, however just like the overwhelming majority of researchers, he noticed rain. Once more, as famous, a extra full clarification of this case may be present in Half three of this collection, The Mushroom Soma Concept: A Crucial Evaluation.

At this level, after an extended dialogue of the various Hindu Gods and Myths that Crowley discusses, the reader might be asking, ‘Wait a minute, I assumed this was in regards to the Secret Medicine of Buddhism?’

Buddhists on medicine… 

A giant a part of Crowley’s Secret Medicine of Buddhism hinges not solely on the identification of soma with mushroom as put forth by Wasson, however extra so on his declare that this custom survived in early Buddhism. He factors to a mythology of the nagas (snake spirits) who held guard of the key teachings of Buddha, the Prajnaparamita, underneath the Oceans. A monk who was in a position to reside beneath the waves with the nagas, the place there king offered him the Mahayana sutras. A legendary occasion that gave rise to the Mahayana motion, some centuries after Buddha’s life. As Crowley explains “it’s tough to know if there’s a hidden that means on this legend. There’s, nevertheless, a folkloric custom which related nagas with medicine. Additionally, within the soma ceremony, the massive soma bowl from which particular person servings have been taken, was referred to as samudra (‘ocean’)” (Crowley, 2019). Crowley right here making a connection to the Samudra Manthan. One would suppose that Crowley would cite some references to this, pointing to a supply for these traditions, and citing a passage for his reference to the ocean bowl, however nope….. Which is typical of his guide.

Crowley provides to this, noting that this will likely have been a template for secret texts attributed to Padmasambhava “which had been beforehand hid (whether or not underground, underneath water, in caves, inside architectural options and even within the ‘enlightened mainstream’) by Padmasambhavata” (Crowley, 2019). A large record of speculated potentialities of areas, that opens up realms of hypothesis all through Crowley’s guide.

Keith Dowman is an English Dzogchen instructor and translator of Tibetan Buddhist texts, who’s acknowledged everywhere in the world for his experience, and he has referred to hashish and/or datura, in  Masters of Mahamudra; Songs and Histories of the Eighty-4 Buddhist Siddhas (1985) and Masters of Enchantment (1988). In Dowman’s newer guide Guru Pema Right here and Now The Mythology of the Lotus-Born the discovered writer means that hashish and datura might have been utilized by even such a central determine reminiscent of Padmasambhava (“Lotus-Born”), also referred to as Guru Rinpoche, the Eighth-century Buddhist grasp from the India, who aided in thee development of the primary Buddhist monastery in Tibet and honored as a “second Buddha” by adherents of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, the Himalayan states of India, and elsewhere. Crowley, solely briefly mentions this, and this turns into extra fodder for hypothesis that mushrooms might have additionally been used, with out the type of help Dowman used for his educated hypothesis.

The Mushroom Parasols

Varied hand drawn illustrations of Buddhist imagery depicting parasols, an import level of iconography within the custom, which Crowley claims again and again are hidden references to mushrooms. These photographs are sometimes utilized by Crowley with no indication as to the place the originals are or after they have been made, and with out originals used one cannot assist to suppose that in lots of instances the illustrator of Crowley’s guide might have been pushed to emphasise the mushroom symbolism. Or if the originals have been fashionable, one may ask the artist if a mushroom or parasol was the intention. In instances reminiscent of this, it is very important determine absolutely the objects mentioned for his or her imagery and use pictures as nicely. A lot of Crowley’s instance lack these types of fundamental qualification.

The Parasol is a crucial level of iconography, not simply in Buddhism, however in different traditions as nicely. The Chinese language Buddhists Encyclopedia notes of this picture:

The Parasol in Buddhism

The umbrellas symbolizes the dome of the sky, casting its shadow on the earth. This shadow is the shadow of safety. The umbrella is carried above an essential particular person or the picture of a deity, to point that the particular person or image under the umbrella is the middle of the universe. As well as, the umbrella is indicative of the truth that deities are entitled to respect. The deal with of the umbrella is the ‘axis mundi,’ which is regarded as the central axis sustaining the world….

In Tibet some dignitaries are entitled to sure parasols. Spiritual dignitaries are entitled to silk parasols and secular rulers are entitled to parasols which might be embroidered peacock feathers. The Dalai Lama is entitled to each… The dome symbolizes knowledge, and compassion is symbolized by the hanging skirt…

…The dictionary defines a parasol as an umbrella used for defense from the solar. Thus its perform is to guard completely from the warmth relatively than the rain – because the phrase ‘parasol,’ that means ‘to carry off the solar,’ and ‘umbrella,’ that means ‘little shade,’ equally suggest. The Sanskrit time period ‘chattra,’ additionally means ‘mushroom,’ in an apparent reference to its form.

….The Tibetan model of the parasol was adopted from its royal Indian and Chinese language prototypes, and customary from a picket, spoked body with a domed silk cowl and hanging silk pendants making up an overhanging skirt.

A picture of a Parasol from The Chinese language Buddhist Encyclopedia

In India we see chatra (from Sanskrit: छत्र, that means “umbrella”) which is likewise an auspicious image in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism there. This Sanskrit phrase performs a main function in Crowley’s mushroom connections. Crowley notes that there isn’t any single phrase in Sanskrit that designates mushrooms alone and this turns into a crux of identification.

…There’s merely no method to say ‘mushroom’ unambiguously. This lexical lacuna, together with cultural taboos towards fungi, means that those that compiled the language have been concealing a secret.

Whereas Sanskrit had no direct approach of claiming “mushroom” there have been methods during which one would possibly not directly allude to them. Thus, one stated both chattra or atapatra, the first that means of each phrases being “parasol” or “umbrella”. There have been, admittedly, awkward literary circulations reminiscent of silindhraka (“maggoty factor”) and ucchilindhra (“sprouting maggoty factor”) however, in regular on a regular basis speech, if one wished to check with a mushroom one stated both chattra (“parasol,” “umbrella”) atapatra (“royal parasol”). These have been a couple of variations on these phrases reminiscent of chattraka (“parasol-thing”), which additionally occurs to be the identify of a form of mushroom formed Siva temple present in southern India. (Crowley, 2019)

So we will see this can be a large a part of Crowley’s identification of Shiva with the mushroom, his temple is dome formed in Southern India. By no means thoughts the Dome formed constructing everywhere in the world….. Its a fairly frequent form the half globe. As nicely, like all languages, Sanskrit developed naturally and it was recorded, not constructed with an agenda to cover the mushroom.

With regard to Crowley’s declare there “is solely no method to say ‘mushroom’ unambiguously”,   Monier Williams’ A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (1872) has a lot of entrees for mushrooms. Resembling “chatrra” ; uc-chilandra ; kavaka ; dilira ; golasa and many others. As nicely a wide range of phrases seem underneath ‘fungus’:  “kavaka, am, a fungus, a mushroom; a mouthful”: “golasa, as, m. a mushroom, a form of fungus springing from cow-dung; (cf. gomaya-cchatirika).”  These final two record mushrooms before everything and this can be a supply Crowley cites in his guide, so questions are so as with reference to why this was not defined. Extra fashionable sources record a wide range of Sanskrit names as nicely.

Crowley factors to the Sanskrit phrases, chattra and chattraka to make his case and claims the basis phrase for mushroom in Sanskrit is derived from a time period for umbrella.  Crowley gives no quotation to again up his preposterous declare that the time period for the mushroom got here after the time period for the umbrella, I might counsel the alternative. The identify of the mushroom got here to be utilized to a wide range of domed formed objects.

Allow us to take a look at all of the associations this phrase maintain and provides this some context, with definitions from the Spoken Sanskrit web site:

Sanskrit Grammar Transliteration English
छत्त्रक m. chattraka candied sugar
छत्त्रक m. chattraka marsh barbel [Asteracantha longifolia – Bot.]छत्त्रक m. chattraka parasol-shaped bee-hive
छत्त्राक m. chattrAka plant akin to gum-Arabic tree [Acacia arabica – Bot.]छत्त्रक m. chattraka kingfisher
छत्त्रक m. chattraka parasol-shaped temple in honour of Shiva
छत्त्रक m. chattraka mushroom
छत्त्राक n. chattrAka mushroom
छत्त्रक n. chattraka parasol
छात्त्रक n. chAttraka form of honey
छत्त्रक n. chattraka small parasol
छत्त्राकारशिरस् adj. chattrAkAraziras having a parasol-shaped head.

Right here, we see the core parts that serves as a foundation for a lot of what Crowley has written concerning mushrooms, and why he has linked to so many alternative deities and objects, as with i.e. Shiva’s Temple is a mushroom; Parasol’s (umbrellas) are mushrooms, and many others.  Nevertheless, Sanskrit is a really historical language and root phrases, that got here to imply different issues, usually took their type first in figuring out easy issues, like a mushroom,

Examples of this happen in all languages -Ambul: to maneuver or stroll (amble, ambulance, ambulate); Cardio: coronary heart (cardiovascular, electrocardiogram, cardiology); Cede: to go or yield (intercede, recede, concede); Counter: towards or reverse (counteract, counterpoint, counterargument); Dem: folks (democracy, democrat, demographic). And this time period chattraka might nicely have first taken root with reference to a mushroom, as little question like all folks, the authors of the Vedas got here throughout mushrooms, and the dome like high of the mushroom, got here to be utilized to issues that held that form, like umbrellas, and temples with dome tops, a beehive and many others, as phrases to explain these objects started to happen. A direct soar to a mushroom connection past the same form, which is de facto only a half of a sphere, nothing to implausible, and particularly to a psychoactive mushroom, could be completely implausible, and never grounded in sensible analysis.

What’s fascinating with reference to mushrooms and Sanskrit literature, is the truth is references to their strict prohibition, relayed in The Sacred Legal guidelines of the Âryas (450 BC) and The Legal guidelines of Manu (a.ok.a. The E-book of Manu) thought to have been composed someday round 200 B.C., though each texts possible contained a lot older materials and influences – A state of affairs that was examined in Half three of this collection, The Mushroom Soma Concept: A Crucial Evaluation. As mentioned in that article, Crowley additionally makes extra out of those prohibitions than must be garnered. He claims a demise penalty the place none existed, and ignores the opposite gadgets prohibited in a listing alongside mushrooms, with no reference to the context that signifies considerations about hygiene and meals sources.

So as to set up the these types of gear have been at all times a secret facet of Buddhism, notably soma, would require figuring out their use within the texts, previous to their later introduction into Tantric Buddhism within the a lot later medieval interval. Crowley fails to make a case for a continued mushroom soma custom, by this era, and into later Buddhism. When medicine do enter later Tibetan and Tantric Buddhist texts, they have been referred to in a lot of the occult Tantras that have been handed round by the extra esoterically minded members of these sects within the medieval interval.

As described in The Lifetime of Gampopa: The Incomparable Dharma Lord of Tibet:  “You possibly can attain Buddhahood: by taking a medication tablet which is able to make you immortal just like the solar and moon”. As Aris Walter defined in ‘Preliminary Outcomes from a Research of Two Rasayana Techniques in Indo-Tibetan Esoterism‘, “the ingestion of medication to strengthen the yogin and procure the siddhi for him, in addition to bringing him to the ultimate objective” was a way utilized by sure Tibetan adepts.

It’s certainly unlucky that Crowley didn’t use his experience on this space, to catalog the assorted precise references to medicine in these traditions, however as an alternative focussed on fanciful speculations about mushrooms each the place his creativeness would lead him.

The Actual Secret Medicine of Tantric Buddhism and the Tibetan custom

Picture from

Sadly, Crowley makes little or no reference to the precise function of hashish or datura in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism altogether, though he does give a passing point out the custom that Buddha survived on a weight loss program of some hemp seeds whereas meditating underneath the Bodhi tree.

These tales appeared within the the Third century AD Indian biography of Buddha, Lalita Vistara (Sanskrit), by Dharmarakcha, (308 AD) and have been repeated within the seventh century AD Chinese language Buddhist textual content The Memorial of Sakya Buddha Tathagata. On this textual content Buddha is known as a Sakya, a time period recognized with the Scythians, a tradition recognized for his or her ritual use of hashish, opium and certain different substances.  A Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese language (1871) recorded: “A number of oblique issues would result in the supposition that they have been a department of the good Scythian race (Sakas), who in regards to the time of Buddha’s beginning have been pushing themselves into the southern parts of Asia and Europe”. The Scythians dominated Northern India from in regards to the first century BC to the Third century AD, leaving some to deem this The Scythian Interval, within the area. Scythian royalty appears to have alternated between Buddhism and worship of the indigenous Indian god Shiva, the Lord of bhang!

This can be a gold coin from Northern India from the 2nd-Third century. The first century BC to the Third century AD in Northern India is called The Scythian Interval. This coin has on one facet a picture of Shiva and his bull Nandi, and on the opposite there’s a image of a Kushan Scythian King, holding a trident of Shiva, and different regalia. I received this for myself after writing Hashish and the Soma Resolution, and had it mounted for a necklace, which I by no means put on however is ever current on my Shiva altar. The Scythians appeared to have alternated between ascetic Buddhism and extra ecstatic Shaivism.

Shiva and his sacred bull Nandi, on the reverse facet of an Indian ‘Scythian interval’ coin

The Memorial of Sakya Buddha Tathagata, comprises the passage, “He ate grain and hemp seed, subduing ache, subduing pleasure.”.  The next earlier verse from Third century AD Indian textual content, the Lalita Vistara was cited has been seen as a possible supply:

“The prince coming to the Ka-ye (Gaya) mountain, to the Ni-h’n (Nairanjana) river, mirrored, contemplating that, as he meant to penetrate to the key influences which actuate the conduct of males, he would possibly, after six years, be able to save lots of them. Thus he addressed himself to the follow of austerities (Dushkaracharya), every day consuming one grain of hemp, one grain of rice; by this implies lowering himself to a situation of overcoming all pleasure. Afterwards, perceiving that this was not the true approach, he pursued the opposite methodology, utilizing indulgencies, bathing, perfuming himself, and so forth; by these means he subdued sorrow” (because the textual content says).

The Lalita Vistara does point out “indulgencies” [sic]to subdue sorrow, which opens up some potentialities of intoxication, however a obscure reference from a textual content regarded as composed some eight centuries after the lifetime of Buddha, is sadly a weak piece of proof to make any case. Within the a lot later Buddhist textual content the Tārātantra, hashish is described by Buddha as being important to religious “ecstasy”. The writer of the medieval textual content, Tārātantra data the Buddha saying that consuming wine with out additionally having consumed hashish “can not produce actual ecstasy”, which was seen as a pivotal step achieve enlightenment (Maitra, 1983; White, 1996).

Different medieval Buddhist references have additionally been famous. “Over the previous few many years, college non secular research departments have produced translations of Buddhist tantric texts of unprecedented high quality, offering ample materials for an examination of psychoactive plant use by Buddhists in Asia” (Parker & Lux, 2008). In there nicely researched essay, ‘Psychoactive Vegetation in Tantric Buddhism; Hashish and Datura Use in Indo-Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism‘, which by the best way doesn’t determine any psychoactive mushroom use, researchers Parker and Lux determine references to hashish, datura and different psychoactive vegetation in medieval Buddhist Tantric texts such because the Mahākāla Tantra, the place the “vegetation are employed to achieve well being, wealth, knowledge, and supernatural powers reminiscent of seeing underground and flying” (Parker & Lux, 2008).

“These formulation embrace hashish in a number of totally different kinds, together with leaves, resin, and different plant materials. Provided that these hashish merchandise are included within the “excellent medication’ formulation of the Mahākāla Tantra, hashish might maybe be thought of a major a part of this tantric lineage.” (Parker & Lux, 2008).

In colleges of Tibetan Buddhism, Mahakala is seen as an essential guardian deity and he’s usually depicted of their artwork. That this direct reference to hashish in his worship is missed by Crowley in his guide Secret Medicine of Buddhism, raises questions, as does his exclusion of different materials concerning the precise use of medication in texts recognized by the extra occult minded adepts of the Tantric and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Mahakala consuming his elixir from a cranium cap bowl.

The Cakrasamvara Tantra additionally identifies a magico-medical function for hashish, right here underneath the identify that Crowley failed to handle in his dialogue of ‘usana‘ and ‘Indrasana‘, this being the Sanskrit identify sana. As famous in Kailas Histories: Renunciate Traditions and the Building of Himalayan Sacred Geography (2015): “The circa Eighth century Cakrasamvara Tantra mentions hemp (Śaṅa = hashish sativa) as a part of an ample life for a free ranging yogin”. The textual content additionally identifies datura and different vegetation.
The Cakrasaṃvara Tantra (Sanskrit: चक्रसंवर तन्त्र), Khorlo Déchok or Khorlo Demchok (Tibetan: འཁོར་ལོ་བདེ་མཆོག, Wylie: ‘khor lo bde mchog) is taken into account to be of the mom class of the Anuttarayoga Tantra in Vajrayana Buddhism. See additionally Acorns: Home windows Excessive-Tide Foghat, Quantity three (2013) and Indian Esoteric Buddhism: Social Historical past of the Tantric Motion (2004) for different Tantric Buddhist references to hashish, datura and different medicine.

This authors private ganja bowl, an vintage cranium cap with the picture of Mahakala engraved on it. Mahakala represents the adoption of Shiva into Tantric Buddhist views, and it’s possible with this identical route, that these substances got here into play within the medieval interval.


18th century portray associated to the Cakrasamvara Tantra

Though, it must be remembered that the Tārātantra is a comparatively minor textual content, composed two millennia after the lifetime of Buddha, (1600) and it has not exerted a lot affect on the Buddhist faith. Likewise the  Mahākāla Tantra and the Cakrasamvara Tantra, can under no circumstances be thought of mainstream Buddhist texts, and have had restricted influence on fashionable Buddhist traditions. Even at its peak, from about 700-900 AD, nicely over a millennia after the lifetime of Buddha, medieval Tantric Buddhism was a fringe custom, practiced by laypersons and never ordained Buddhist monks or nuns. Nevertheless, such texts definitely would have been thought of ‘secret’ or ‘occult’ and simply the type of proof you’d suppose that Crowley would have referenced in his guide on medicine on this custom. Nevertheless, Crowley misses many of those and different recognized references to medicine in varied Buddhist Tantric texts, in favour of attempting to determine mushrooms, in photographs that they don’t seem in, and texts that make no reference to them.

For researchers fascinated by flushing out extra in regards to the precise use of medication within the Tibetan and Buddhist traditions take a look at ‘The Use of Entheogens within the Vajrayana Custom: a quick abstract of preliminary findings along with a partial bibliography‘ (2007) by R. C. Parker, which offers you a greater concept of the particular references to psychoactive substances on this custom than you can see in Crowley’s Secret Medicine of Buddhism.  As Parker explains of his appreciable bibliography of texts: “When these sources are taken collectively, their mixed weight leaves little room for doubt that Vajrayana has had a well-documented custom of creating use of entheogenic vegetation (particularly datura and hashish) for magico-religious and psychospiritual functions. Whereas this use might by no means have been notably widespread, it’s definitely vital” (Parker, 2008). Curiously, Parker lists no references to mushrooms on this context, which is odd contemplating the subtile to Crowley’s guide is ‘Psychedelic Sacraments and the Origins of the Vajrayana‘!

The Proliferation of Nonsense

While engaged on this assessment, one of many issues I actually got here to comprehend, with how extensively this type of nonsense has proliferated, very similar to the state of affairs with Wasson’s contentious Soma mushroom principle. Crowley is way from alone right here, and even within the realm of Tibetan Buddhism, he has constructed on the nonsense earlier than him. Crowley refers back to the work of Scott Hajicek-Dobberstein, who in his 1995 paper, ‘Soma siddhas and alchemical enlightenment: psychedelic mushrooms in Buddhist custom‘ paved the best way for Crowley’s Secret Medicine of Buddhism, with nonsensical claims like this with reference to Interpretation of the key that means of the Buddhist texts:

… Firstly, there are the historic, biographical details: the castes into which the siddhas have been born, their occupations, the areas they lived in, the names of their gurus and the tantras they practised. The validity of those details is, in lots of instances, unsure.

The second degree of that means in these tales is the didactic. As an illustration, Karnaripa is advised by his guru that he mustn’t obtain tasty meals as his alms; he ought to solely settle for as a lot meals as will match on the purpose of a needle. The lesson for Karnaripa and for readers of his story is that tantric disciples ought to follow austerities. This degree of that means is carried within the tales by the overt that means of the phrases and symbols.

In lots of tales, I can not say what number of, there’s embedded a deeper degree of that means which is expressed in sandhabhasa, ‘intentional language’ or ‘enigmatic language’, which is used to obscure the true that means for the uninitiated whereas declaring it for the initiates. Such symbols within the tales appear to imply one factor, however they actually imply one thing else. After receiving Nagarjuna’s dietary recommendation, Karnaripa returns from begging with a pancake piled with sweets on the tip of his needle. This appears to be an ironic joke performed on his guru by his benefactors. Nevertheless, at a deeper degree which I’ll try to interpret under, the pancake on a needle is an emblem representing the fly agaric mushroom. In any case, we should always not count on practitioners of tantra or alchemy, recognized for his or her vows of secrecy, to narrate a narrative of the great alchemical elixir which grants enlightenment, whereas plainly and brazenly stating the id of the key important ingredient.

So right here, we see the identical type of logic, that Crowley makes use of for parasols indicating mushrooms, utilized to the imagery of a plate of sweets balanced on the highest of a needle magically remodeled right into a mushroom, in a fable that’s clearly about monkly austerity.

The preposterous analysis of each Crowley and Hajicek-Dobberstein is accepted unquestioningly within the lately launched ‘Particular Challenge on Psychedelics in Historical past and World Religions’ in what’s touted as the tutorial peer reviewed Journal of Psychedelic Research. This particular version is described:

Psychedelic substances have a fantastic antiquity in human historical past and pre-history, and are present in cultures world wide, in shamanic contexts in addition to complicated civilizations. The contributors to this quantity deal with the assorted types of proof of the function of those substances previously, with a specific concentrate on their non secular roles.

The editor of this particular Challenge, was Michael Winkelman, PhD, who I seem with within the Gaia collection Psychedelica. He’s a pleasant man, and I corresponded somewhat with him, about his essay, ‘The “Kamasutra” temples of India: A case for the encoding of psychedelically induced spirituality‘ (2019). As Winkelman describes his essay in one other essay, ‘Introduction: Proof for entheogen use in prehistory and world religions‘:

Of their article “The ‘Kamasutra’ Temples of India – a Case for the Encoding of Psychedelically-induced Spirituality,” Meena Maillart-Garg and Michael Winkelman deal with probably the most well-known entheogenic controversies, the id of Soma of Hindu traditions, proposed to be the mushroom A. muscaria by Wasson (1972). The presence of mushroom representations within the sculptures of sanctuaries of the Khajuraho Temples supplies proof that entheogenic mushrooms are the id of soma. They analyze the options of those fungiforms and Vedic traditions to suggest that these are designed to depict each the A. muscaria, in addition to Psilocybe cubensis species…. They additional suggest that a few of the so-called “damaged” sculptures of Khajuraho will not be really broken, however relatively intentionally constructed to seem vandalized to encode info associated to entheogens within the  type of the early stage of A. muscaria. The central placement of mushroom pedestals as needed steps into the sanctum of the temples attests to a profound entheogenic message. This bodily and symbolic knowledge has appreciable implications for a reevaluation of the traditional roots of Hinduism, indicating that entheogenic mushrooms have been a very powerful sacraments of early Hinduism and continued for millennia.

Wasson’s (1972) proposal of the existence of a widespread entheogenic A. muscaria mushroom custom throughout Eurasia has varied types of help from findings reported for complicated societies as nicely. The continuation of mushroom cults in complicated societies of Asia was illustrated by Crowley (2015)… and Hajicek-Dobberstein (1995), who assessment proof of spiritual mushroom cults. Psychedelic mushroom use is reported for Taoist cult practices documented in Tibet and China by Crowley (2015) and Hajicek-Dobberstein (1995)…

So we will see precisely how the bullshit stacks right here… I’ve checked out Winkelman’s paper, ‘The “Kamasutra” temples of India: A case for the encoding of psychedelically induced spirituality‘ and I’ve corresponded with him. The impression I received is that he knew little or no in regards to the precise Vedic descriptions of soma, and his identification right here, and his data of the topic relies purely on what he has learn from the likes of Wasson and Crowley. He requested me pointed questions with reference to my very own views, and I provided solutions, once I stated to reply those self same questions he despatched me about soma, nothing got here again in return.

This picture, ‘determine 7’ a statue from the outer wall of Lakshman Temple, that has been damaged by vandals. Winkelman claims the vandalism is pretend, and the picture comprises proof of mushrooms as soma.

Winkelman describes this as “Mushroom intimately of the highest a part of Determine 7” – the earlier picture.

Winkelman describes the above ‘mushroom imagery’ hidden in ‘vandalized’ statues, in a temple constructed greater than two millennia after the Rig veda was composed, that he sees as proof for soma.

In Determine 7, we see a weird distinction of the gorgeous legs and buttocks of an individual (girl?) with two ugly damaged arms. The orientation of the arm on the left of the viewer is as if from the entrance of the physique however the decrease limbs counsel it’s the again that faces the viewer. The opposite facet of the physique, on the suitable facet of the viewer, has an enlarged limb the place the arm must be, extending as much as what seems to be a vandalized higher space. The broken arms may be simply
attributed to vandalism, besides within the particulars of this determine, we see that the “broken” space of the forearm and the pinnacle within the middle of the image look like linked to a mushroom clearly positioned within the “broken” space of the face (or the again of the pinnacle, no matter our creativeness permits us to see; Figures 7 and eight). Discover the mushroom stem ranging from the damaged fringe of the forearm in Determine eight. The cap of the mushroom is positioned on the “broken space of the face or the again of the pinnacle” of the sculpture. The mushroom wouldn’t be attainable
with out the deliberate omission of the arm and head, suggesting that the “harm” was meant by the sculptor.

The photographic proof that Winkelman gives in The “Kamasutra” temples of India: A case for the encoding of psychedelically induced spirituality‘ is way from convincing proof of mushrooms or their use. Once I stated I used to be not shopping for what he was promoting to Winkelman, pointed to those photographs and said “see if any of those descriptions seem to replicate hashish, versus a fungi into consideration
While you’re at it you possibly can take a look at the a part of the article in regards to the mushroom pedestals, if these will not be mushrooms, what then???”.  I responded “these photographs replicate neither, its not a alternative between the 2. The connection you see, is solely in your thoughts, not within the iconography you might be projecting it onto.” A Assertion I stand by, I see a damaged statue.

Furthermore, attempting to push a case for hidden soma iconography in a temple constructed greater than two thousand years after the Rig Veda was written, with none type of proof for the continuity, is amateurish at finest. That is disappointing to see from a PhD. in command of a tutorial journal launch on this crucial topic. Its on par with the identifications prompt for mushrooms as parasols and different objects by Crowley, or perhaps not even as much as that commonplace.

Crappy analysis propped up with a self serving statements like a damaged statue twisted to suit a mushroom form, – like a cloud within the sky, a canine – signifies “that entheogenic mushrooms have been a very powerful sacraments of early Hinduism”. And never simply Hinduism apparently! Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and even Islam are introduced into this. Winkelman describes the Journal’s inclusion of:

Proof supporting Allegro’s speculation of the traditional entheogenic roots of Christianity is discovered within the repeated look of mushroom representations in later Christian artwork, some with the everyday traits of A. muscaria, and different depictions resembling native psychedelic species of the Psilocybe and Stropharia genera…

….Ruck et al. (2001) present additional proof for A. muscaria practices in Judaic traditions, characterizing Moses as an entheogenic shaman, particularly in his encounters with the “burning bush” on the “Mountain of God.” This bush, with a flaming middle that didn’t burn or eat the bush, additionally spoke to Moses, giving him directions. Ruck et al. (2001, p. 164) level to the options of A. muscaria in burning coal and white ash look of the tree, in addition to within the indicators given by Yahweh to Moses to persuade the followers – his hand displaying “leprous patches white as snow” (resembling the A. muscaria veil remnants on the cap) and the power to take his hand from his cloak and “to attract water and have it flip pink” – (the liquid pressed out of the mushroom).

Tom Hatsis has completed a lot to dismiss the type of nonsense propping up the identification of sacred mushrooms in Christian artwork that seems on this particular version of Journal of Psychedelic Research, and I might direct the reader to Tom’s work on this regard.

Winkelman, refers back to the work of Professor Carl Ruck, whom I do know and was a type of mentor of mine. It was when Carl received behind the kaneh bosm materials, that it actually started to realize some credence. Prof Ruck even reviewed my guide on the Bible within the London England Sunday Instances. Carl has written books with R. Gordon Wasson, and has relied on Wasson’s work for a lot of what he himself has written, constructing edifices upon that shaky crown. When my guide Hashish and the Soma Resolution got here out, with its clear rejection of The Mushroom Soma Concept, it definitely strained our relationship, and we had some very difficult conversations in regards to the topic. Carl’s help for my very own work, waned. I’m sure this text won’t assist issues there both.

That is what I meant, to start with once I stated, this was no nice job. With regard to Islam, Winkelman presents the work of one other buddy and colleague, Alan Piper:

In his article “Burāq depicted as A. muscaria in a Fifteenth Century Timurid Illuminated Manuscript?,” Alan Piper current proof of enthogenic roots inside Islamic traditions derived from Turkey and Afghanistan. These influences are expressed within the Herat manuscript, which supplies descriptions of the formative experiences of the Prophet Mohammed. These embrace the mi’raj – the miraculous accent of the Prophet Mohammed by the seven heavens to obtain God’s directions – and the continuing isra – the “Evening Journey” – throughout which Mohammed traveled in a single day from Mecca to Jerusalem by way of a wonderful beast referred to as Burāq. Piper analyzes the illustrations of this manuscript, reflecting Islamic traditions fashioned in an admixture of Turco-Mongolian shamanism, which data Mohammed’s mi’raj. Piper reveals that descriptions within the Herat manuscript that depict the fabulous creature by which Mohammed makes this ascent share distinctive options of the A. muscaria, depicting the Burāq with the distinctive pink and white noticed pores and skin of the mushroom…. Piper makes use of ethnographic analogy for interpretation of this depiction of the Burāq by an interdisciplinary strategy that reveals how these representations of the Burāq depicted within the Herat manuscript are associated to Islamic traditions influenced by Buddhism, Hinduism, and different regional cultures.

Primarily based on this picture Alan Piper would have us ponder wether the legendary Burāq is “depicted as A. muscaria in a Fifteenth Century Timurid Illuminated Manuscript?”. However are the spots depicted anymore than the spots of deers’ within the area? and the intense color nothing greater than an artists flavouring of a mythic beast?

Reddish coated white speckled deer.

As Piper explains of his principle on the legendary Buraq and the Fly-Agaric:

A number of of the illustrations within the Herat manuscript depict Buraq with the distinctive pink and white noticed pores and skin of the A. muscaria mushroom, precise within the smallest element. That’s to say, they each share a particular shade of pink as a background shade, which is roofed by small round or oval white patches which have ragged edges and, when aged, a darkened middle… The sample and shade for theProphet’s piebald mount might be the results of an imaginative flight of fancy of the artist, unrelated to the looks of any mushroom. Whereas the suggestion that the Prophet may need had used a psychoactive drug to perform his spirit journey could be anathema to orthodox Islam, there’s a wide range of proof that helps the chance that this illustration may signify the interpretation into artwork of Central Asian shamanic traditions, during which the Prophet’s miraculous heavenly ascent was interpreted by the artist when it comes to a spirit journey achieved by the company of the fly agaric mushroom.

I’ll say that Alan no less than gives a disqualifier of the entire thing, noting it might be simply the artist’s “fancy” and he doesn’t write with the identical type of tone of self assured authority as Mike Crowley, Winkelman or others mentioned. On this regard, its additionally essential to notice, as Piper didn’t, that deers within the area are white noticed and a tone of pink, so no have to look to mushrooms for this imagery. So we’re left with a shiny coat, which one would suppose could be on the palate of an artist portray a legendary beast.

Regardless, lets take a look at a few of the proof utilized by Alan to make his case. As Piper, (who additionally cites Wasson’s identification of fly-agaric as Soma) describes:

For the reason that mi’raj custom first attracted crucial scholarly consideration, a wide range of authors have identified the mi’raj as drawing on earlier Judaeo-Christian accounts of heavenly ascent such because the E-book of Enoch and Iranian traditions such because the Arda Wiraf narrative (Vuckovic, 2005). Within the Arda Wiraf narrative, a righteous man is chosen to go to the spirit world by way of a narcotic potion of wine and Hashish or Henbane (Flattery & Schwartz, 1992) to find out if the prevailing types of Zoroastrian of worship have been pleasing to God…

….It’s attainable that the depiction of A. muscaria within the Timurid manuscript because the company of the Prophet’s ascent reflects an consciousness of its properties assimilated from Tibetan Buddhism. There’s intriguing proof for the usage of A. muscaria not solely as recorded in up to date Tibetan shamanism… but in addition within the Tantric traditions of Tibetan Buddhism present in Tantra’s classical texts (Crowley, 1996; Hajicek-Dobberstein, 1995). Though later largely supplanted by Islam, many Mongols had adopted Buddhism early within the 13th century as they have been uncovered to the faith in China, Tibet, and Northern India…

So now the bogus mushroom principle of Wasson, compounded by the bogus mushroom theories of Crowley and Hajicek-Dobberstein, leads a bogus mushroom principle about Islam. To be honest, I believe Alan Piper does some actually fascinating analysis, and the affect right here I believe is how entrenched this materials has turn into, and Alan’s private connections to folks like Ruck and Crowley. Its all so these type so of connections which make this such a tough job to cope with for myself.

However the truth is, Alan, ought to know higher, and if he’s to proceed writing, and citing this type of mushroom materials, he and others want referred to all want to handle the criticisms I’ve been laying out on this collection to proceed with that. A lot of them have seen it, definitely each Ruck and Crowley have.  If the sphere of Entheogenic Historical past is to ever begin being taken severely, we who’re pioneering this space of historical past, have to take one another severely, and reply these challenges to our concepts severely as nicely. If something, the power of my very own analysis has solely elevated, by that follow.

I don’t suppose a lot of this mushroom materials, mentioned right here may be taken severely. In actual fact I believe the idea of it’s, it simplicity, like a meme. Its usually left to, ‘this appears like a mushroom’, a easy fundamental form that anybody can determine, and reply of their thoughts with ‘sure, I can see the mushroom there’ and really feel like they’re now in on an astounding principle, and get a sense of intelligence. A lot simpler to try this attempting to grasp the intricacies of historical languages, texts, and cultures, and inspecting issues like archeology, and spending the time creating sensible speculation primarily based on that.

Regardless of my criticism of Alan’s principle in regards to the mushroom in Islam, I do suppose there’s a case for entheogen induced shamanic flight within the story of the Buraq and Muhammad’s evening flight to Mecca, and Alan will get no less than near a few of the proof for that. As I additionally famous in  Cannabis and different psychoactive substances within the Islamic World:

A Zoroastrian affect has been prompt within the account of Muhammad’s ascent to the heavens as described within the Koran and mentioned intimately within the Hadith literature. Quite a few researchers have prompt that this occasion, in addition to the small print in it, had been borrowed from the Persian story of Arda Wiraz Namag, and his hashish induced journey into the after-world (Grey, 1902; Jackson, 1928). The Cinvat Bridge talked about within the Arda Wiraz Namag was notably in contrast with the bridge over Hell as talked about within the Hadith literature.

Nevertheless on this regard, Alan qualifies this as “Hashish and Henbane”, and personally, having learn a lot of Alan’s articles, I believe he at all times prefers to see one thing apart from hashish, even when its plainly there. On this regard, he cites Flattery and Schwartz, by their guide Haoma and Harmalinea guide which identifies the Avestan time period bhanga, normally recognized as hashish, with henbane, and makes the unfounded declare that there was no use of hashish as an intoxicant in India or the Mid East till the Islamic interval! The work of Flattery and Schwartz shall be mentioned in Half 6 of this collection, ‘Haoma and Harmaline: A Crucial Evaluation’.

Could the true Soma/Haoma movement.


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